wars – And So The Sea Will Claim Us All review

WARSThey only formed this year, last month they supported Bury Tomorrow, last week Metal Hammer streamed their debut EP, and today the band’s first five track offering, And So The Sea Will Claim Us All, is released. The Rugby quintet make rock music heavy with meaning; speaking of the release, vocalist Rob Vicars explains – ‘‘this EP is the most personal thing we as individuals have ever worked on, we’ve really poured everything into this release and I’m implausibly excited and proud to put it out there”.

There’s only a few seconds of subdued sound before Gamblers Ruin breaks open with harsh vocals and intense riffs. Clean vocals become overpowered by this musical weight, and for the first few minutes it feels like the band are trying to push out music that’s already been done too much into a packed genre. Come the track’s break down, of sorts, and the vocals take their own hold on the music with a splurge of originality. The intensity of the sound that closes the track mimic those in instrumental music, urging the song towards its close.

Harsh vocals relentlessly flood Eight On The Ballantine Scale, but again, it’s in the softer moments of the track that the band comes into their own. Unpredictable guitar punctuates the rougher sections of the track, and it’s clear that the vocals are laden with meaning throughout, but there are moments that sound just like wars are any other band.

If you want to see what the band are capable of at the optimum, turns your ears to the sparse and varied sound of closing 00:01. It might be a minute long, but it’s an apt closer and allows them to showcase that rock with meaning doesn’t have to be loud and filled with throat-aching lyrics.

Through the remaining tracks, the music swells and crashes – often in huge onslaughts of music – as the EP’s title would imply, but despite their passionate vocalisations, excellent production (courtesy of Matt O’Grady – Architects, You Me At Six, Bring Me The Horizon), and neat structure, there’s little that wars offer that isn’t already being done. Don’t get me wrong – the EP is strong, and they’ve an undeniable talent, but they’re squeezing themselves into a packed room and there’s little that would make me pick them out; I suspect in a few years they’ll pull me up and prove me wrong.

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